Things to know about Radiographic Imaging in Dentistry

Radiography of the mouth and associated structures can be very frustrating initially. However, once you master this technique, it is possible to produce high quality diagnostic radiographs consistently. Dental radiography is consistently under-utilized in veterinary practice. In many procedures, diagnostic radiographs are essential for the production of a treatment plan and treatment may be contraindicated without them.

Digital radiography is currently available to most practices with their current technology- scanners and/or digital cameras. The advantage of digital images is that they can be manipulated on the computer screen to aid diagnosis by changing density, contrast and magnification. These images can also be easily stored and used for client education, referral opinions or letters, etc. The digital files are easily transferred from computer to computer both by disk and via the Internet.

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There are four ways that radiographs can be converted to digital images.

Digital Cameras

Digital photography is a cost effective method of converting conventional radiographs to digital images.

Scanning

This method requires a scanner hooked up to a computer. The scanner must be able to “backlight” the radiograph.

Phosphorus Sensor

This technique utilizes an image plate, which can be reused. The size of the plate can vary from small periapical films to larger panoramic sizes.

CCD/CMOS Sensor

This technique uses a sensor plate attached to a computer. The advantage is that the image is immediately displayed on the computer. The disadvantage is that the sensors are expensive and, at this time, only come in Periapical film size 2.